MEMPHIS, Tennessee — It’s a twist on the question, “if a tree falls in the forest, but nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” If you’re selected to be on a roster for a game, but the game isn’t played, is the roster invalidated?
Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke, both second-year players for the Memphis Grizzlies, were chosen by NBA assistant coaches to the 2021 NBA Rising Stars rosters. However, an exhibition game will not be played this year “due to the limitation of having All-Star events on one night.”
Here is the news release from the Memphis Grizzlies:
The NBA announced today that Memphis Grizzlies second-year players Ja Morant (U.S. Team) and Brandon Clarke (World Team) were named by NBA assistant coaches to the 2021 NBA Rising Stars rosters. This marks the second Rising Stars selection for each player, who participated in the event as rookies last season.
NBA Rising Stars, the league’s annual showcase of premier young talent during NBA All-Star, will not be played this year due to the limitation of having All-Star events on one night. To recognize deserving players, the NBA kept the custom of having the league’s assistant coaches vote for Rising Stars rosters, which consist of 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States (U.S. Team) and 10 first- and second-year NBA players from outside the United States (World Team).
Morant (6-2 ½, 174), the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year, has started all of his 23 appearances this season and leads the Grizzlies with 19.1 points and 7.8 assists in 30.4 minutes in his second NBA season. The 21-year-old, who was selected with the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, leads all first- and-second-year players in assists per game and ranks ninth in the NBA in the category.
Morant began his second professional season by scoring a career-high 44 points in the regular season opener on Dec. 23 vs. San Antonio and totaled 35 points and 10 assists in his most-recent game on March 3 at Washington. The Dalzell, South Carolina, native has posted seven double-doubles and one triple-double this season.
Clarke (6-7 ¾, 210) has appeared in 26 games (16 starts) this season and has averaged 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 51.7 percent from the field.
During his second season, Clarke has scored in double figures 20 times, posted two double-doubles and established single-game career highs for 3-point field goals made (3), rebounds (12) and steals (4). The Vancouver native is one of five players from Canada on the World Team roster.
The 24-year-old, who was selected with the 21st overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, was named to the 2019-20 NBA All-Rookie First Team last season after setting an NBA single-season rookie record for field goal percentage (.618).